Tauranga brothers Ben and Sam O'Dea claimed a bronze medal at the first ever 1-Star World Tour Beach Volleyball event held in Shepparton, Australia last week.

The O'Dea's beat the USA in the bronze match following a close 15-13 defeat in the deciding third set in the semifinal against Australia.

After missing the NZ Beach Tour in February as he recovered from injury, Ben O'Dea was pleased to be back on court.

The other NZ men's pairing of Morgan Seymour and Rene Kapa finished equal 5th and took the eventual tournament winners to three sets in their quarter-final, while Tauranga's Mike Watson and Thomas Hartles were eliminated by the O'Dea's in the quarter-finals.


The three NZL women's pairings all suffered first round defeats, with Julia Tilley and Alice Bain (Tauranga) going closest to a win; eventually losing in the third set.

The women now have a second FIVB world tour event to look forward to in Sydney on March 17-19, where they hope to improve on this performance.

All these athletes have picked up World Tour points which will enhance their potential nomination for Commonwealth Games selection later this year.

The FIVB World Tour has undergone a revamping in 2017 with the change to the 1-5 star rating system.

This event was 1-star so was more accessible to teams from Oceania, while the coming Sydney event is the first 2-star event of the season, with all of our top teams eyeing up 3-star events and higher.

New Zealand teams will also be selected soon for the Asian Beach Volleyball Tour.